Now that summer is coming to an end, patients are coming in for their pigmentation concerns. Dark spots and discoloration are treated in multiple ways, depending on the nature of the pigmentation. Here are some popular treatments:

IPL (intense pulsed light)
This is a photo rejuvenation treatment that targets brown spots. The face, neck, and chest are common treatment areas but arms and legs can be treated too. This treatment is NOT used to treat Melasma nor pigmentation in darker skin tones, but can produce dramatic positive results when used in the right patient for the right pigment problem. Expect to have some dark flaking specs on the skin that can last about 10-14 days.

Cosmelan
Cosmelan is a top pick for Melasma patients and works beautifully to lighten and reduce pigmentation. This is a medical strength mask that is not only used for Melasma, but can be used to treat discoloration on the body and face of patients with darker skin tones who are not candidates for IPL. This mustardy looking mask is painted on in-office, and rinsed off at home about 8-10 hours later. Expect to have mild flaking, and glowing, even skin after 1 week. Following treatment, a skin care regimen is prescribed to enhance and maintain results.

Microneedling
This procedure is safe for all skin types, patients with Melasma, and patients with general dyspigmentation. Microneedling can improve the texture and tone of the skin and is an all over skin rejuvenation treatment. Tiny medical grade needles continuously glide over the skin to create a controlled wound. This promotes the wound healing process that will renew and reveal glowing fresh skin. This procedure also involves drawing a tube of the patient’s blood and centrifuging the blood to isolate the PRP (platelet rich plasma). This fresh, rich, concentrated PRP is then infused into the skin during the treatment process to promote collagen and elastin healing. Expect to have pink and mild flaking skin for 3-7 days after treatment. Results will appear after 1 week but collagen development will continue even after 1 month.

Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are commonly used for acne, fine lines, discoloration (sun damage and melasma), and general smoothing, tightening, and brightening. A higher strength chemical peel can get deep into the dermis and renew the skin, while a lighter strength can give some mild flaking. This in-office treatment involves painting a thin layer of acid on to the skin, and removing it shortly after with water. Though the healing can get a little rough at times, the results are absolutely worth it. Expect to have tight, glowing skin the day of the treatment and then flaking for about 7-10 days. Results are apparent after the peeling process resolves in about 10 days.

There are plenty of ways to treat pigmentation. Different methods are chosen for different skin types and different pigment problems. Have your spots checked by a medical professional to see what options are best for you.

Pro tip: protect your investment with proper skincare and suncare! Pigmentation can always return, especially with sun exposure in sunny California. Quality sunscreens, and skin care products following any treatment are a must.

Healthy skin is always in!